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Auditor General Queries Purchase of Ushs 92m Car for Masindi Boss

The Auditor General's office is querying why the Masindi local government administration chose to spend 92 million shillings on a new car for the district LC5 chairperson diverting funds for the production department.
Finances to purchase the car, a Jeep Cherokee, were partly obtained from a loan from Stanbic Bank received in 2006. A report from the Auditor General says the purchase was not provided for in the district capital development expenditures budget and no supplementary budget was prepared to cater for it.
The report quotes the Local Government Financial Regulations 1998 that stipulate that purchases of this kind should not paralyze other obligations. In this case the purchase of the LC5 chairperson's car caused the district to forego the purchase of another vehicle urgently needed by the production department.
Initially the Masindi district engineer had recommended the purchase of a cheaper car, a Toyota Prado. He reasoned that the Jeep Cherokee was a high maintenance vehicle and the accompanying four million-shilling comprehensive insurance charged by the car vendor, Spear Motors, was too high.
The Masindi District Public Accounts Committee admits that there were irregularities in the purchase of the car, but blames this on the absence of directives on this kind of procurement three years ago.
A statement countering the Auditor Genera's report says it is not true that an alternative vehicle was proposed by the district engineer. It adds that the Jeep Cherokee had good safety features.
The former Masindi LC5 chairperson, John Majara, was killed in a car accident and this was used as an argument for a bigger, better car.